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Postpartum depression and the male partner

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And it can take a serious toll on the family's wellbeing, specifically their children's. New demands and responsibilities during pregnancy and the postpartum period often cause major changes in a father's life, too. It's important to understand what risk factors can affect the development of depression. Men may show different signs of depression. The depression may manifest itself in terms of irritability, impulsivity, and feeling unable to find pleasure in anything. Recently, doctors have started to screen fathers as well using this same EPDS questionnaire.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Postnatal depression in men - BBC Stories

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: "Baby Blues" -- or Postpartum Depression?

Yes, Postpartum Depression in Men Is Very Real

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Maternal postnatal mental health problems impact women and their infants. However, less is known about how maternal postnatal mental health problems affect men and how they wish to be supported. Twenty papers met the inclusion criteria and were appraised for methodological quality. Data were thematically synthesised. In addition to nineteen subthemes, 5 main themes were identified: 1 Being a father, 2 Being a partner, 3 Experiencing negative emotions, 4 The ways in which men cope and 5 Where support is needed.

Men coped with these experiences in a number of ways, which were both helped and hindered by personal, social and professional factors. Recommendations for perinatal mental health professionals included the need for increased public awareness of postnatal mental health. Mental health problems during pregnancy and the first year postpartum are common among women Howard et al. To date, research has focused primarily on the impact of postnatal mental health problems on women and their relationship with their baby and attachment Reid et al.

Furthermore, fathers can buffer the effects of maternal depression on children Edhborg et al. Yet, fathers are under-represented in child development research Phares et al. Furthermore, these fathers then showed poorer interactions with their infants.

Research suggests a moderate correlation between maternal and paternal depression during the postnatal period Ballard et al. However, men are likely to be marginalised and excluded from services, which focus on women Fletcher et al. Women have also highlighted that the information given to their partners by perinatal mental health services is often insufficient Heron et al. Mental health guidelines have cited the importance of supporting partners and family members, given the impact postnatal mental health problems have on the wider family system NHS England ; NICE However, little is known about how men should be supported during this time.

To date no review has systematically synthesised the experiences of men whose partner had postnatal mental health problems. In recognition of the marginalisation of men within perinatal healthcare, the current review focused specifically on the experiences of male partners. Keywords were truncated; MESH terms and synonyms of search terms were used, when applicable. Broad search terms were used to capture a wide range of studies.

As systematically identifying qualitative health research remains a challenge, despite improvements in indexing Atkins et al. As Fig. Full text articles were then reviewed and only those that met the inclusion criteria were included. Google scholar was hand-searched, as were reference lists and the most recent issue of the journals for the eligible papers.

The systematic search yielded a total of 14 articles, with an additional seven articles identified by the hand search the keywords of which did not include all search terms used.

The Kappa score for inter-rater reliability was 0. The authors agreed on inclusion of all full text articles Kappa score 1. In order to assess different aspects of methodological and interpretive rigour, the included studies from the systematic review were assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme CASP checklist for qualitative research. The CASP was selected, because it is one of the most widely used tools to assess qualitative research.

The checklist states that if the first two items pertaining to the research aims and qualitative methodology are not satisfied, the remaining questions should not be considered. On this basis, one paper was excluded from the thematic synthesis e.

Morgan et al. The kappa score for the inter-rater reliability was 0. Key characteristics from the studies were extracted and tabulated. To synthesise the original content of the studies and develop interpretative themes taking an inductive thematic synthesis was conducted Thomas and Harden Thematic synthesis is often used to inform policy and practice, including health services Barnett-Page and Thomas ; Tong et al.

The inductive nature means that higher order themes framed in the data can be identified. First, line-by-line coding of content and meaning of the quotes and the reported results from each study was carried out. When studies included data from participants other than male partners, only data pertaining to male partners of women with postnatal mental health problems was extracted. Codes were compared for similarities and differences and grouped into descriptive themes, and then analytic themes were developed Thomas and Harden The analysis was conducted independently by two authors, with the first author BT leading the development of the analytic themes, which were agreed by all three authors.

The characteristics for the 20 included studies can be seen in Table 1 based on a total of men aged between 20 and 64 years old. The 20 studies reported on 18 samples. Nine studies recruited heterosexual couples, seven of which conducted separate interviews with men and two interviewed couples together. All other studies were conducted with men only. Four studies were conducted with partners of women admitted to a psychiatric mother and baby unit, whereas all other studies were conducted with community samples.

As can be seen in Table 2 , the overall methodological quality of all the papers was good with all papers presenting with very good methodological properties, as indicated by a score of 16 or above using the CASP tool The five main themes were: 1 Being a father , 2 Being a partner , 3 Experiencing negative emotions , 4 The ways in which men cope and 5 Where support is needed.

Themes and subthemes are described below, accompanied by corresponding extracts from the studies. Figure 2 illustrates how the themes are interconnected, namely that the experiences of being a father and partner within the context of maternal postnatal mental health problems could give rise to a mixture of emotional experiences, including negative emotions. Participants coped with these negative feelings in diverse ways, and the effectiveness of their coping could be both hindered and facilitated by the response of their support networks.

This theme consists of four subthemes. Wyatt et al. Let her got on with it. Boddy et al. Other participants reported that this transition had been thwarted or disrupted Boddy et al. Obviously you have the double whammy. One, you have a partner who is quite poorly.

Two, you loose some of the most important weeks of your life with your baby. Reid et al. She was in a really bad situation, so I said I have to do this for her and…. However, participants who had been separated from their baby felt their bonding had been disrupted Boddy et al. Beestin et al. Participants were aware of the impact on the whole family, not just their partners Marrs et al.

The first four weeks in particular every night he cried. Things like that, as a father, when your wife, his mother is taken, when she is not in the environment he is used to, as in your home. Dealing with that was quite hard. Marrs et al. Nicholls and Ayers, For some men this bought difficult feelings of uncertainty, helplessness and loss, whereas for others this had led to a growth in strength and confidence. This theme is split into four subthemes. The hardest part of it all is the drastic change in mood.

Engqvist and Nilsson Letourneau et al. Similarly, loss is the predominant emotion felt by men who describe the loss of their partner Boddy et al. Davey et al. It was like a stranger had come and replaced my warm and loving best friend with a woman with dead eyes and a cold heart.

Alternatively, for some participants, the challenges they have faced as a couple meant growth in communication and collaboration, deepening their understanding of one another and building resilience within their relationship Everingham et al. Nicholls and Ayers Similarly, when the blame was placed on the wider social context, such as social expectations and pressures placed on mothers to conform to an idealised motherhood, participants felt less negatively towards their partner Everingham et al.

In contrast, when participants placed the cause within the woman, such as aspects of her personality or behaviour, they perceived these as more controllable, and therefore placed more blame on their partner Everingham et al.

Everingham et al. Now, a woman is a professional, a mother, a lover… So it is heavy in terms of demands. Habel et al.

This theme demonstrates that the experience of having a partner with postnatal mental health problems contributes to a diverse mix of negative emotions for men, relating to the couple relationship, family life and their imagined future. The strategies men find to cope with these emotions were likely to impact their adjustment to this situation. This theme is divided into four subthemes. Having a partner who is unwell creates changes in lifestyle, disturbed routines and increased responsibilities for men, who are required to divide efforts between work and home life, as well as having financial implications, which can lead to increased stress Engqvist and Nilsson ; Meighan et al.

For participants who were unsupported, emotional and physical isolation can dominate Beestin et al. These experiences can lead to depressive symptoms, such as low mood, hopelessness, exhaustion and reduced enjoyment Beestin et al.

Webster I needed emotional support. I felt I was becoming depressed. It was everything, the long days at the hospital. I saw things that I never saw before and that affected me. I kept thinking, when is she going to snap out of it? Why is this happening? I thought having a baby was going to be the best thing to happen.

Signs of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety in Men

Postpartum depression has become more visible as celebrity moms including Brooke Shields , Drew Barrymore and Chrissy Teigen have publicly shared their struggles with feeling sad and hopeless after birth. Despite the skepticism, postpartum depression in fathers is very real, with estimates that around 10 percent of men report symptoms of depression following the birth of a child, about double the typical rate of depression in males. Testosterone is an androgen hormone , responsible for the development and maintenance of male secondary sex characteristics. It promotes muscle mass and body hair growth, and motivates sexual arousal and competitive behavior. Many studies have found that testosterone dips in new fathers across the animal kingdom.

Men get depressed in the first year postpartum, too. Here, counselor and dad Craig Mullins shares his own story of postpartum depression, and how he now works to help other men get through it at his Colorado counseling practice.

It could be paternal postpartum depression. When his first child was born in October , David Levine, was thrilled. Levine, a pediatrician who practices in Westfield, New Jersey. Within days his initial elation eroded, replaced by anxiety and fear. His son, Zachary, cried constantly.

Do You Have PPND?

It's increasingly common to hear about new moms suffering from the baby blues. But what about new dads? The study explores issues they encounter and how they can move beyond barriers they face in receiving diagnoses and treatment of the little-known phenomenon. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. One study shows that the risk goes up to 24 to 50 percent for men whose partners suffer from PPD. A team of researchers, led by UNLV Couple and Family Therapy professor Brandon Eddy, scoured blogs, websites, forums, and chat rooms for first-hand accounts from new dads. Six themes emerged:. Overall, the findings complement previous studies on barriers for fathers suffering from PPD. UNLV researchers said encountering a lack of information and stigma often causes dads to distance themselves from their child and has been associated with marital difficulties. Previous research elsewhere has found that paternal involvement has many positive outcomes for children, such as boys displaying less hostile behavior then children with absent dads, reduced delinquency for both sexes, considerably higher IQ scores for children in their early development years, and lower levels of emotional distress.

Why We Need to Talk More About Male Postpartum Depression

Being a parent is hard. And being a new father of an infant is especially hard. And conflicts with your partner that arise after a few sleepless nights can make things harder. But PPND is different. Up to 1 in 4 new dads have PPND.

Maternal postnatal mental health problems impact women and their infants. However, less is known about how maternal postnatal mental health problems affect men and how they wish to be supported.

Each year, there are more than three million diagnosed cases of postpartum depression in the United States and some of those are fathers. It was a meta-analysis of 46 other studies, and it found that one in seven dads 14 percent in the U. Not only that but between three and six months after birth, the risk for dads climbs to 1 in 4. As is often the case with new mothers, postpartum depression is not easy to spot in fathers.

Forgotten fathers: New dads also at risk for postpartum depression

Pregnancy is a powerful and life-changing experience for women and men. It can stir up some strong, deep and unexpected emotions and issues. These kinds of changes are normal. But emotional changes that last longer than two weeks and get in the way of your daily life could be depression.

While we typically associate postpartum depression with women, new fathers can experience serious mood changes after bringing baby home, too. The frequent night feedings. The rearranging of your days to tend to the constant needs of a brand new baby. It can all catch up to any new parent. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission.

How to Spot Signs of Male Postpartum Depression in New Dads

New moms can suffer from an array of perinatal disorders, but male postpartum depression is also very real, and can leave a family struggling. Jenna Berendzen, ARNP , UnityPoint Health provides a unique perspective—not only does she have specialized training in postpartum depression PPD , she and her husband lived through it after the birth of their first son. She explains male postpartum depression symptoms, an easy way to approach a new dad who might be struggling and the single biggest risk factor, which leaves men 50 percent more vulnerable to paternal postpartum depression. Male postpartum depression is also known as paternal postnatal depression PPND. Male postpartum depression is different and needs intervention.

Feb 14, - Parents investigates an increasingly common condition called Paternal Postpartum Depression, one very few men can bring themselves to.

First time dads are particularly vulnerable Fatherhood institute, The peak time for postnatal depression in men is three to six months after the birth Fatherhood Institute, As with postnatal depression in mums , it often goes undiagnosed.

Learn about an increasingly common condition called paternal postpartum depression, which few men can bring themselves to discuss. You've heard plenty of stories about women experiencing postpartum depression. After all, the condition affects about one in nine new mothers.

When it comes to postpartum depression, a spouse can do a lot to support their partner. It may not be easy, and it may not be pleasant, but a spouse can help their partner overcome - or at least live with postpartum depression and anxiety. We asked Eric Dyches, founder of the Emily Effect, for some partner advice when it comes to postpartum depression.

Back to Health A to Z. Postnatal depression is a type of depression that many parents experience after having a baby.

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